Between volleyball and softball, Manhattan High senior Allie Massanet is used to playing sports year round.
After signing with the University of Saint Mary for both sports this week, that year-round grind will continue through her college years.
Massanet, serving as the libero for the Indians volleyball team and a variety of roles for the softball team, will have her hands full next year, as she becomes a dual-sport collegiate athlete. Her initial visit was for volleyball only, but after she decided to commit, she contacted head softball coach Lori Lorenzen about playing both.
“I went just for volleyball, then I talked to the softball coach while I was there, and she said that she was interested, so we emailed back and forth and she offered me a scholarship,” Massanet said. “Getting to play two sports is icing on the cake.”
Lorenzen said it’s not uncommon for athletes at Saint Mary, an NAIA school, to play more than one sport.
“Our seasons are totally separate, we’re a small school, so we’ve got plenty of dual-sport athletes,” Lorenzen said. “It won’t be a problem, though she will be busy.”
One factor in Massanet’s decision to play for the Spires was its proximity to family.
“I’m originally from Leavenworth, so I have a lot of family there,” she said. “So, it’ll be good to go back. I’ll have a big fan base, so it all factored in.”
Volleyball coach Sarah Johnson said she was pleased that Massanet had a built-in connection with the school.
“We were excited there was some history there and a little bit of family,” she said. “We were hopeful that would help draw her back to someplace that was once home for her.”
Johnson said Massanet’s work ethic makes her valuable to the Spires’ program.
“Allie’s a tremendous athlete, for volleyball specifically, she has great ball control, a skill I know she’ll add to our program,” Johnson said. “She also brings a wonderful attitude — she’s a hard worker, she’s determined and she’s the type of player any coach wants to coach. So we’re thrilled to have her in our program, as well as a part of the Saint Mary community.”
Massanet said she expects playing two sports, in addition to the rigors of college, to be difficult.
“I think it’ll be a little bit of a challenge,” she said. “But I really like playing both sports, so I’ll be willing to do whatever to be able to play.”